The TRUST team (spanning three countries and several disciplines) has collectively gathered decades of data on the use of creative tools and visualization systems in hospitals and persistent care and rehabilitation units. We have evaluated this data in our own disciplines and applied that knowledge to the design of new tools and new approaches to both 'assistive technology' and 'performance technology'. The linked HOPE project (Mathews, Goodman, Weisman et al; see www.HOPEconnectskids.org) has also interviewed many members of the gaming industry, child psychiatrists, and paediatricians in order to further understand the potential benefits of online gaming communities. We contend that these can be shown to improve the quality of life of hospitalized children by allowing them forums in which to meet and relate with other children around the country and around the world, and where the freeing activities of role play and real-time gaming put the child at the centre of a creative world. The HOPE network will provide the TRUST project with a context for delivery, evaluation and iterative customization of the TRUST goals and games. It will also provide families with an alternative way of visiting with their children in hospital via voice chat or video-conferencing, in addition to delivering educational and health information content to the child.
Performance Technologists, Puppeteers, Dancers and Actors, like people with disabilities, know from life experience that 'avatars' and most existing animation formats do not come close to representing or 'capturing' human movement. Avatar-booth technologies create 'uber-realistic' characters, too true to life to be true to life, and nearly always missing the spark of the human which is found in eye contact, physical proximity, humour, and what was once known as 'bedside manner'.